My wonderful sister was given a charge to get as many people as possible to a fund raising lunch for Mitt at Grand America in Utah this week. All of her good friends were either out of town or had already given to the max, so I went and had a lot of fun with she and her darling daughter Lindsay.
We expected a rather small crowd because Mitt has already raised a LOT of money in Utah. When they started the meeting they told us that at 8 p.m. the night before they had 750 people which was the maximum for the ballroom. By 10:30 they had 900, but midnight they had a 1000 and 1150 people showed up. In addition to that there was a small group who had given $25,000 for an inside “update” before the lunch started and I guess some inside information before the lunch began. Some of those were the many people standing at the doorways and around the ballroom without a table, a chair or food! No one seemed to mind. They eventually found chairs for everyone but coming up with a few hundred extra lunches just wasn’t in the cards.
Mitt was gracious and “on message”. Mia Love, who is running for congress against Jim Matheson conducted the meeting and did a terrific job.
We were all thrilled to see that many people there because it had been a hard couple of days for Mitt (more to come in the next 50 days for both candidates I’m sure).
I just have to say that “Man, I’m so glad that we got out of politics when we did!” It’s the toughest job in the world!
Great times abounded this week as we saw In the Heights at Pioneer Theatre. We were a bit spoiled having seen it on Broadway, but they really did a terrific job. The next night we were invited to see The Piano Guys at the open air Red Butte Gardens. As it turned out, they were filming the performance for a show soon to be aired on PBS. There were helicopters flying overhead and lots of boom cameras everywhere. Since they needed to get it as perfect as possible, several numbers were done twice but that cute Jon and Steve did a good job of entertaining the audience in between takes and even though the canyon winds were cooling us off, even under our blankets, it was a night to remember.
They had come straight from being on the Katie Couric Show and the Today Show. They are finally able to really raise some funds of their own….which they so richly (no pun intended) deserve. They are good inside and out!
Thursday morning we got up early and headed for New Orleans. The night before we heard on the news that some American Airlines pilots were protesting layoffs and creating havoc by purposely delaying flights for one small reason or another and that only 30% of AA flights had been on time that day. We panicked a little because we only fly AA about once a year, but as luck would have it, this was the once. We usually head out for speeches the night before just in case of things like this but this time we had decided to take a chance on it, As it turned out , we had one hour from the time we landed until we had to be at the venue for our presentation. And we made it. Whew!
This was a return trip to an outstanding group of young parents. We had done a previous presentation with them on relationships nine months ago and this one was on Raising Responsible Kids in an Age of Entitlement. We had so much fun with them!
We really like the color and character of New Orleans! We were first there for a speech 7 years ago about two weeks after Hurricane Katrina. This time everyone was so pleased that the levies worked and there was not much damage with Isaac. Those people just know that hurricanes are part of their lives!
One place we really love to walk through is Royal Street in the French Quarter and our grand old hotel was right in the middle of it. We especially enjoy the musicians on every corner playing Dixieland jazz. They are always good but we really hit the jackpot this time. You wouldn’t think that this woman sitting in that chair below could knock your socks off when you first look at her but boy howdy, she did! She could sing and play the clarinet like nobody’s business.Apparently everybody in town knows her and when she gets tired of the New Orleans heat she goes and plays in Sweden for a while. Go figure! Dad has decided that she is his “Female Vocalist of the Year.” Truly, she was amazing!
Dad was completely enamored with her and sat on the curb to listen for a long time. He thinks she might make from 5-800 dollars a day. Speaking of fund raisers! People were throwing money in “her bucket” like crazy!
He also found a great hat shop and bought two for himself and one really cute one for me! He didn’t really have room in his bag without crushing the hats so he just wore both of them all the way home:
We sauntered down to the most famous place in town which is The Original Coffee Stand of New Orleans called Café du Monde. It’s a fun place to soak in the local color along with a lot of tourists and has an interesting menu: coffee, OJ, hot chocolate and beignets (they call them doughnuts but we would call the heavy hot scones smothered in powdered sugar). They must serve literally thousands of them every day. Keeps it simple! It is always mobbed and always accompanied by street musicians that keep the atmosphere festive. .
The streets in the French Quarter are always covered with horse and buggies for hire, actors who come up with something crazier every year to attract some money, narrow one way streets, gay pride flags and lots of interesting charm.
Every flight was on time, except the one we’re on now. Even as I write we’re on the last leg to get home on a Friday night. We’ve been sitting in the Dallas/Fort Worth airport for many hours. Our only option connection between flights was 2 1/2 hours as it was and nobody knows exactly why the flight was two hours late. I’m pretty sure the bottom line was “raising funds”. If it was going to happen we’re pretty lucky that it happened now! We’re hoping to get home by 1 a.m. It will be great to lay prone! Fidgets!